The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have one dominant need on the roster: offensive guard. But this late in the process, and especially without a fourth-round pick, finding a starter at any position becomes unlikely. They could try to force it and fill a need, but they're probably better off selecting the best player available. So with that in mind, who could that be for them?
David Yankey, G, Stanford
Arguably the best starter still available in the draft. He's a bit slow, a bit of a plodder, not very strong -- but he consistently gets the job done at Stanford. Not a great starer, but you won't find any of those this deep into the draft, and it's not clear whether he'd even step in for the Bucs. But he won't make mistakes, he'll execute his assignments, and there's some good value in that.
Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor
If you want a huge, physical mauler, Cyril Richardson is your guy. That doesn't particularly fit with what the Bucs want to do, as far as we know, but then we didn't think they'd be selecting a bunch of 6'5" players to go play basketball on a football field, either. However, Richardson struggles against speed and agility, which is why he's still available this late in the draft.
Garrett Scott, OL, Marshall
A name to keep an eye on late in the draft, as the Bucs brought the big lineman in for a visit. He's a big, very athletic lineman who moves well in space, but who needs to improve his strength to be a quality NFL starter, according to Cincy Jungle. That fits what we think the Bucs want along their offensive line, and he could be a solid target for them in the sixth or seventh round.
Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
Wait, what, another pass-catcher? Well, there's an argument to be made that Martavis Bryant is a unique talent. He's explosive, fast and very big. At 6'4", 211 lbs, he's another one of those huge receivers the Bucs seem to love. But he has more speed than either Mike Evans or Vincent Jackson, running a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine. There are some elements of Randy Moss to his game, though he's obviously not that good. He has pretty bad hands, isn't a developed route runner and there are some questions about his effort -- but he could be a spectacular player if you get all of that sorted out. If he didn't have those question marks, he could have been a top 10 pick. The Bucs also brought him in for a visit, so they certainly have some interest.
Telvin Smith, LB, Florida State
A speedy, undersized linebacker out of Florida State. The Bucs always love those guys. Smith won't be a starter (at least not early in his career), and certainly not with Lavonte David on the roster, but he'd be an intriguing backup weakside linebacker with some potential to turn into a starter on the strongside. He should also be an excellent special teams player, which certainly increases his value for the Bucs. He's another player the Bucs worked out privately.
Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
The Bucs don't really need a cornerback, but that doesn't mean they won't pick one. Pierre Desir is one of the consensus best players still available on the board, and the 6'1", 198 lbs. cornerback is mostly available because he comes from a small school, and his top-end speed isn't quite what you want out of a cornerback. But he displayed many of the necessary athletic traits to develop into a starter down the line and his outstanding ball skills led to 25 career interceptions.
Players the Bucs worked out
Full list of known players the Bucs worked out
Working out a player doesn't mean the Bucs will draft him -- they didn't work out Mike Evans, for instance. But it is an indication that there's at least some level of interest. Here are the players they worked out who are still on the board at this point.
Quarterback: Garrett Gilbert, SMU; Tajh Boyd, Clemson.
Running back: J.C. Copeland (fullback), LSU; James Wilder Jr., Florida State.
Wide receiver: Martavis Bryant, Clemson; Solomon Patton, Florida; Albert WIlson, Georgia State.
Tight end: Alex Bayer, Bowling Green.
Offensive line: Garrett Scott, Pamphile. Jon Halapio, Florida.
Edge rusher: Larry Webster, Bloomsburg; Jonathan Newsome, Ball State.
Linebacker: Marquis Pruill, Syracuse; Telvin Smith, Florida State; Nate Askew, Texas A&M
Cornerback: Walt Aikens, Liberty
Mocking the Draft's top available players:
41. Antonio Richardson | 6'5 3/4, 336 pounds | Offensive tackle | Tennessee *
55. Zach Mettenberger | 6'5, 224 pounds | Quarterback | LSU
56. Antone Exum | 5'11 5/8, 213 pounds | Cornerback | Virginia Tech
60. Victor Hampton | 5’9, 197 pounds | Cornerback | South Carolina
61. Bashaud Breeland | 5'11 3/8, 197 pounds | Cornerback | Clemson *
63. DaQuan Jones | 6'3 3/4, 322 pounds | Defensive tackle | Penn State
65. Pierre Desir | 6'1, 191 pounds | Cornerback | Lindenwood
66. Brandon Coleman | 6'6, 225 pounds | Wide receiver | Rutgers *
73. Ka'Deem Carey | 5'9 3/8, 207 pounds | Running back | Arizona *
76. Marcus Roberson | 6'0 1/4, 191 pounds | Cornerback | Florida *
Bucs' remaining picks
|4||Traded to Jets|
|6||Traded to Bears|
|6||9 (from Bills)||185|